A slew of restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions that celebrate all the very best the north-east and north of Scotland have to offer have received coveted awards at a ceremony in Edinburgh.
Visit Scotland’s Scottish Thistle Awards on Thursday night invited the very best in food, drink, hospitality and tourism from across the country to the city’s conference centre to determine who made the biggest impact in their respective categories in the last year.
Among the winners were Eat on the Green in Ellon, who fended off competition from high-class restaurants across the country to be crowned the Best Eating Experience.
The venue was praised by judges for the quality of the fine dining on offer, as well as its commitment to promoting local suppliers and north-east produce.
And Meldrum House Country Hotel and Golf, near Oldmeldrum, secured the Most Hospitable Hotel award for its strong focus on staff training and scholarship schemes, in addition to sourcing its menus locally.
Cruise Loch Ness won the title of Best Visitor Attraction, and MacGregor’s Bar was awarded Best Bar or Pub.
Willie Cameron, the founding director of marketing for Visit Loch Ness took home the prestigious Silver Thistle award at this year’s ceremony.
Craig Wilson, the owner and chef at Eat on the Green said the award was all thanks to the hard work of his team.
He said: “We are truly, truly delighted. We started this business around 15 years ago from nothing, so it feels really good to be taking home this award on behalf of the region.
“I’m super proud of my wife and the team for getting this award, because we always fight to be the best we can be on a daily basis.
“To take it home for Aberdeenshire makes it certainly the most prestigious award we have won.”
Andy Burgess, the chief executive of Meldrum House Country Hotel and Golf added: “It is an honour to win a Thistle Award against such stiff competition.
“With more than 100 staff, it’s a huge team effort that goes into making Meldrum House what it is today, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of them for their hard work.”